In the morning, the first item on my agenda was to find Dal’s cache in the woods. His GPS coordinates were of no use to me, but fortunately his instructions were clear, and if precisely followed would lead me to the stash with confidence. It also didn’t hurt that I’d seen the photos on his blog.
The rest of the morning was spent driving down the Madison and checking out the earthquake damage. I’d been there the day it happened and again when I was ten. (See Terremoto entry.)
The Hebgen Lake Dam and fishing access was closed for construction/repairs.
Surprising how the rocky scars still look fresh. In fact, across from the Earthquake Visitor’s Center (also CLOSED), I saw an omega blaze and looked quickly down.
Okay, between me and the hidden treasure chest was a rushing river, boulders, and a steep ravine. Hmm. I’ll come up from below, I thought. I drove down to where the valley opened up. A longer hike than I’d be doing alone in the heat. Maybe not ever.
I turned around and drove back up the ‘hill’. Now, there were 2 empty cars parked along the road. For a moment I panicked and thought they were just ahead of me on the chase. I parked and started hiking down the slippery slope across from my blaze. And then I saw them.
It turned out, they were ‘just’ fishing.
I had some time to think there on the slide. The more I gazed across the river, the more I realized that spot was just not possible to reach safely. Not for a child, a person of eighty, or even one approaching 60. Anyone in between, go for it. You have my blessing. Go in peace.
After lunch, I headed up Highway 191, the Gallatin River valley, to the Soldier’s Chapel. I’d recently read The Bloody Bozeman, and have to agree with the person who mentioned that Bozeman ought to be named Story. Bozeman was rather reckless with other people’s lives.
- 30. Leaving Yellowstone and heading west (fugious.wordpress.com)
- Smokejumper injured on Montana-Idaho border fire (ktvb.com)